Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker
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  • Rochester, NH
  • United States
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Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker's Discussions

 

Cigar Box Guitars are my Full Time Job

What started off as a hobby has grown into my life's work...

Hi, I'm Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker, and I am the proud owner of Cigar Box Nation and C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply, the premier supplier of parts, kits and gear to the cigar box guitar and handmade music movement.

I first got into handmade musical instruments back in 2008 when a friend brought me a canjo as a gift from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I looked at it, plucked a few notes, and said "well heck I can build one of these." I got on the internet, discovered cigar box guitars, and was soon hooked. Not long after, Shane Speal (the King of the Cigar Box Guitar) founded Cigar Box Nation, and I joined a couple of weeks later.

After building a few, I realized that I could maybe sell some fret wire on eBay to help fund my hobby. From that small start I began sourcing and selling more key parts for CBGs - tuners, grommets for sound hole inserts, box corners, tailpieces, etc, and within a couple of years the business had grown so much that I was able to quit my day job and run C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply full time from the basement of my home. A year or so later, Shane Speal sold Cigar Box Nation to me so that he could focus his energies on his music career, and I have been running it ever since.

Now, C. B. Gitty is housed in 13,000 square foot section of an old mill in Gonic, New Hampshire and has eight employees, with over a thousand products and shipping over 500 orders a week. Even with all of this growth, I remain as excited as ever about cigar box guitars and the handmade music movement... I still get that excitement and thrill when I finish a guitar, and I can't wait to get it strung up and see how it sounds.

This movement is just getting started, and I can't wait to see where it goes. For more of my thoughts on all of this, check out the Cigar Box Guitar Manifesto which I wrote a while back, which really sums up my feelings about it.


Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker

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How did you learn about Cigar Box Nation?
Web search way back in Jan 2009

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Comment Wall (99 comments)

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At 6:48am on January 29, 2017, Moritz Voegeli said…
Ben hey, I had a workshop with newbies in cbg matters, and we checked different methods of slotting a fretboard: just with a knifelike japanese saw with a narrow blade, with your guitar fretting starter kit, and with Chickenbone John's fret slotting tools.
 
Your guitar fretting starter kit I had to modify in two points: the mitre box is too narrow for metric cut timber, 1.5" is somewhat less than our 40mm or 1.575": I had to replace it with my own; why not a 2" mitre box usable for larger four or six stringer fretboards too?
 
Typical mistake of my newbies: the cut for the fret is not level but higher in the mid of the board, so hammering in the mid loosens the ends of the frets; adding a feeler to check the cut is deep enough and level would greatly improve the value of this valuable package, at the cost of some cents.
 
Have a good time, Moritz
 
At 6:32pm on January 11, 2017, Ethen Baker said…

Happy day o' Birth. Thanks for all you did and do with Shane. You guys make it better for us try-it-yourselfer's. I get excited to see new emails and broadcasts from ya'll. Many more years of love.

Ethen Baker

At 3:58pm on January 10, 2017, Paul Craig said…

Happy B-Day Young-in'.

At 1:22pm on January 10, 2017, Rick Gaudreau said…

Happy birth, Ben, and thanks for all the work you do for CBGs and those who love them.

At 12:13pm on January 10, 2017, John said…
Happy Birthday Ben wish you another 40 years!!!
At 2:17pm on July 13, 2016, J.Rob said…

I'm with ya Jim on that those cats rock!
Now i can see a Gitty WV location with Your master skills at the helm!!!!!

Hmmmmmm!

At 9:39pm on July 12, 2016, Jim Morris said…

Thanks much for the friend request Ben. I had been making instruments for a few years before discovering CB Nation but thanks to you and the many helpful members here I was able to do things I'd never imagined before. You and Shane provide a wealth of information, not to mention a good place to buy parts! Hope to see you in York!

At 7:26pm on August 31, 2015, Spence's Rye said…

Thx for your comment on the instructional vid flier!

At 9:34pm on July 10, 2015, rick washbrook said…

Ben, 

How amazing can that be you started this as a hobby and now it is your work and employment.

I like the looks of boxes you make. Some are very unique.   I want you to hear one of my slide guitar originals. Perhaps I will buy one from you instead of making one, and get one that works well and benefit from your mistakes.

Rick Washbrook ' Whisky Drinkin' Woman ' Original '

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3ZeXvGQQsc

 I hope that you enjoy it. You have inspired me.

Cheers

Rick Washbrook

Please write me back. I am a member of Cigar box but have not posted anything yet. I am new

my e mail is rick@washbrookmuisc.com

At 12:06pm on February 3, 2015, Andries D. EKER said…

Thats OKE Ben ,are there more CBN regulations for Nation site users? Don't like to effend the Famely folks! Greeettssszzz.

At 10:20pm on January 15, 2015, gary herget said…

Hey Ben, got a message to check out shane's latest news letter but the blogs are gone. Have looked twice still not there have they been moved if so where, just trying to keep up.

Thanks, Gary

At 2:14am on January 10, 2015, bairfoot cajun said…

howdy mr gitty,i just stopped by to say happy birthday,hope your day is great as it can be.

At 5:54pm on November 7, 2014, Bill Baker said…

Can't change my photo on my page Ben.  Keep getting error message after trying different pics both jpg and gif.

Bill Baker

At 6:17am on November 2, 2014, Michael Fred Johnson said…

Thanks for featuring my latest guitar in the newsletter and for your kind comments

At 7:58am on October 17, 2014, Uncle John said…

Ben, I love the packaging on the Southbound strings.  Whoever came up with that was inspired.  They would even make a good git top.   Lots of nice stuff out from you.

At 5:27pm on September 12, 2014, shane gibson said…

Got my 1st canjo today its so much fun 

At 1:28am on May 23, 2014, Muddy Creek Guitars said…
Ben,

I was unable to use my coupon for my entry in the builder's challenge at cbgitty.com. I left a message through the contact link at the website. I noticed you were online here, so I thought I'd send you a message here in case you could give me a quick answer.
Thanks!
I appreciate all you do!

John Draws
Muddy Creek Guitars
At 1:56pm on February 17, 2014, RJGRAPH (Eldridge CB Guitars) said…

Congrats on the Front Page article in the fosters last week. Store open maybe?

At 6:59am on January 21, 2014, james taze bennett said…

Thank you.. By the way i buy 90% of my building supplys from you. Great stuff.

At 8:31pm on January 15, 2014, Mike "Katfish" Karash said…
Ben,
Thanks for the gift certificate! Very generous and considerate of you! I really enjoy the contests, they get my inspiration flowin'. I'm about ready for another order anyway, this is a great surprise,
Thanks,
Mike
 
 
 

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